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Niche or industry aside, there’s little doubt that your customers are the beating heart of your entire operation. To ensure that your customer-facing communications and efforts are constantly improving and evolving, investing in customer relationship management (CRM) is vital.
To win on today’s increasingly cutthroat digital battlefield, getting under the skin of your customers’ most pressing needs, behaviors, goals, and preferences while offering direct solutions to their biggest pain points will push you ten steps ahead of the competition. CRM software is the vessel that will get you there.
With a powerful dashboard maker, you can optimize every aspect of your customer relations across touchpoints to maximize your performance, boost your service levels, and, ultimately, grow your business.
To put the power of CRM software (or customer relationship management dashboard software) into a living, breathing, real-world perspective, we’ll explore CRM dashboards in more detail, starting with basic definitions of such dashboards and reports while considering how you can use CRM dashboard software to your business-boosting advantage.
Finally, we will show you a real-life example so you can get a visual overview and a clearer picture of the points discussed in this article.
What Is a CRM Dashboard?
A CRM dashboard is a centralized hub of information that presents customer relationship management data in a way that is dynamic, interactive, and offers access to a wealth of insights that can improve your consumer-facing strategies and communications.
Additionally, CRM dashboard tools provide access to insights that offer a concise snapshot of your customer-driven performance and activities through a range of features and functionalities empowered by online data visualization tools.
At its core, CRM dashboard software is a smart vessel for data analytics and business intelligence - digital innovation that hosts a wealth of insightful CRM reports. Let's look at the power of CRM reporting tools in more detail.
What Is A CRM Report?
A CRM report is a management tool that offers all the needed data to strengthen your customer relationships. They usually exist inside CRM dashboards that connect your data in a way that will make your reports interactive, focused, and efficient through automation.
A CRM report, or CRM reporting, is the presentational aspect of customer relationship management. By working with visual key performance indicators (KPIs) and a mix of interactive charts and graphs, you can use a CRM dashboard report to spot trends that will empower you to develop strategies that will build trust as well as brand loyalty on a sustainable basis.
Top Benefits of CRM Reporting
Now that we’ve looked at the fundamentals of CRM dashboards and reports let’s explore the business-boosting benefits of data-driven customer relationship management dashboards in more detail.
1. Better decision-making
CRM reporting and CRM reporting tools will help you make quicker, more informed decisions based on robust, reliable visual data.
By being able to perform quality KPI tracking, you’ll transform information into insight in real-time. Improved decision-making will not only make you more adaptable to change but also streamline your customer service operations while reducing time as well as cost-draining inefficiencies.
2. Increased insight
CRM reporting software offers you in-depth insights based on historic, predictive, and “in the moment” data.
The digestible visual information served up by CRM dashboards will empower you to spot emerging trends, identify strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately, meet the needs of your customers head-on.
3. More engagement
One of the top benefits of CRM reporting is effective campaign tracking. When done correctly, it will enable you to compile relevant information related to your customer's behaviors and preferences in different touchpoints and understand if your marketing initiatives are effective.
By doing so, you can meet your customers where they are most engaged, and deliver messaging, offers, deals, discounts, suggestions, and solutions that are likely to result in increased customer loyalty as well as brand advocacy.
These types of conclusions can be reached with the help of attribution modeling. A practice that allows you to understand which campaign channel is more effective for your customers by tracking metrics like the last interaction, last non-direct click, linear attribution, among others.
4. Consistent performance
CRM reporting allows you to set actionable benchmarks while monitoring your performance in various areas with pinpoint accuracy.
With the right CRM analysis report, you can keep building on your customer-facing activities consistently, improving your brand reputation while acquiring—and retaining—droves of new customers.
5. Maximum access & efficiency
As CRM reporting technologies are centralized (you can access a wealth of consumer-centric data from one platform) and accessible to everyone in the business, you will give your company the tools to win through the power of data analytics.
With CRM reports, you can give everyone in your customer service department the tools to improve their performance with data analytics. And when you do that, communication will improve, productivity will increase, and you will be able to benefit from the power of business intelligence (BI), 24/7.
6. Innovation impact
When using a CRM dashboard tool, you are fostering a culture of customer service innovation.
Many businesses make the mistake of seeing marketing and customer service as a series of clinical transactions. But if you can think outside the box, dazzle customers with your service, and develop messaging that offers real value, you will push yourself ahead of the pack. CRM reporting technologies will help you do just that.
“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories–tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.” – Chip & Dan Heath
How to Create Quality CRM Reports?
Now that we’ve answered the question “what are CRM reports?”, it’s time to consider how to make a CRM report, alongside some basic steps to follow. Here, we delve into the best practices, approaches, and methods that will help you make your CRM dashboard tools work for your business.
1. Use professional CRM reporting tools
To build your CRM report initiatives on solid foundations and squeeze every last drop of value from your data-driven insights, working with the right BI reporting tools is essential. No exceptions, no compromises.
A dynamic KPI dashboard will form the very foundations of your reporting and analytics initiatives. When you’re looking at how to make a CRM report, it’s vital that you understand the importance of robust CRM reporting tools.
Professional CRM reporting technologies are interactive, customizable, and offer a wealth of potential when it comes to telling an effective story with your data.
From a customer relationship management perspective, CRM dashboard tools offer a wealth of invaluable data at a swift glance, making it tailormade for responsive decision-making.
Not only does a CRM reporting tool like datapine provide a priceless snapshot of key customer-facing information, but 24/7 access to data-driven insights across a choice of devices, including tablets and smartphones.
2. Align your goals and objectives
When using the right CRM reporting tools, you should start by taking a long, hard look at your business’s core customer-facing goals and objectives.
Do you want to build social media engagement? Are you looking to increase existing customer loyalty? Do you want to make your content marketing campaigns more focused or streamline your customer service expenditure? Think about what you want to do and why you want to do it.
Once you’ve aligned your consumer-based aims, goals, and objectives, you’ll be able to select the best KPIs for the job - visualizations that will breathe life into your CRM dashboard design.
To inspire your customer relationship management report for managing your metrics, explore our cutting-edge selection of KPI examples.
3. Work through your narrative
You may remember us mentioning data storytelling earlier. The human brain responds best to storytelling, and the best CRM reports offer plenty of scopes to tell tales with your data.
A robust CRM dashboard template will allow you to customize your visualizations and design format to your audience’s aims, goals, and preferences. And if you focus on doing so in a way that will walk your users through a compelling, easy-to-follow narrative, you will squeeze every last drop of value from your customer relationship management report metrics.
Our practical guide to data visualization techniques will tell you everything you need to know about creating effective messages with your CRM dashboard sample data.
4. Design for customer management dashboard success
Whether you’re looking at consumer management dashboards and reports, every CRM dashboard template you use should be optimal in terms of design.
When we say “optimal design,” we don’t mean cramming piles of information into one space or being overly experimental with colors. No, we mean developing a logical format based on proven dashboard design principles.
When designing a sales CRM dashboard - or any other form of customer relationship report - you should keep your core objectives in mind, working methodically to paint a picture that is accessible to every user at a glance.
To help navigate your dashboard design efforts, here are some best practices for reporting success:
- Ensure your visuals and data are arranged in a way that is both logical and scannable. Put yourself in the shoes of the universal user and arrange your CRM dashboard examples or reports in a way that makes it as easy as possible to extract information and take action.
- Don’t use more than three colors on any of your CRM report samples, as this will only overwhelm the eye and detract from the information on the page.
- When it comes to CRM report examples, use a balanced mix of historical, predictive, and real-time insights on-page to offer value. Bias towards one specific set of metrics will make your report shallow and hinder the overall design.
- Use white space where you can and double up your margins if possible.
For a full rundown of dashboard design tips and more, explore our full guide on how to create a dashboard.
5. Explore different types of CRM reports
There are several areas in which your business can benefit from smart CRM reports. Let’s take a quick look at the six primary types of CRM reports available in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected business world.
- Profitability & revenue reports A dashboard-based report that offers a detailed breakdown of sales KPIs such as your primary sources of income on a consumer level. Tracking this type of report will give you a clear indication of where you should focus your sales and marketing efforts.
- Pipeline reports: These types of reports are particularly effective as they will help you track your leads as they progress through your sales pipeline. Working with pipeline reports will empower you to streamline your sales processes while enhancing your customer communications.
- Sales conversion reports: This branch of CRM reporting is essential to sales and marketing teams across industries as it breaks down your conversion data to offer an insight into your lead sources as well as the quality of your leads or prospects.
- Sales cycle CRM reports: These reporting tools are effective as they provide all of the visual data you need to optimize your sales cycle at every stage and touchpoint for maximum efficiency and ROI.
- Goal benchmarking reports: Goal-centric CRM-style reports provide a detailed snapshot of how various strategies and activities are performing in conjunction with predetermined benchmarks - offering essential insights designed to spot organizational strengths and weaknesses.
- Marketing ROI reporting: A vital tool for marketing BI analytics. ROI-based reports provide a deep-dive insight into how effective your promotional activities are while offering a clear breakdown of revenue sources according to channel or campaign.
6. Educate, inspire, empower
When investing in data analytics tools, many businesses overlook the importance of informational accessibility. Even the best CRM dashboards will only do so much if a small handful of people within the organization are using them.
That said, when you’re setting up a CRM dashboard, you should always consider how various people within customer service, sales, and marketing can benefit.
By giving the right permissions to the right people and running role-specific workshops on how to get the best from the CRM report in question, you will maximize the value of your reporting tools. In turn, you will accelerate the growth of your business.
7. Test, tweak, evolve
If you’ve examined a varied mix of CRM report samples and CRM dashboard examples and followed all of our customer relationship report-building advice, it’s likely that you’re reaping all of the benefits of CRM reporting
However, we live in a digital age, where tools, technology, and outlooks are changing constantly. When asking yourself the question “what is CRM reporting?”, it’s always important to remember that the answer lies in continual evolution.
While your reports may offer all the benefits of a CRM report today, they could prove far less effective next year. The point is, your CRM report activities should remain active at all times.
Take the time to analyze, explore, test your CRM reports samples, and ask for regular feedback. Doing so will ensure you make tweaks, edits, and upgrades that will offer you the very best insights in an ever-evolving, cutthroat commercial landscape.
Real-world CRM dashboard examples
Now that you understand the key elements of creating successful CRM reports, we’re going to look at three cutting-edge CRM dashboard examples.
CRMs are more than customer service monitoring tools alone. By using the right data dashboard for your specific goals, aims, and needs, you will get a panoramic view of your sales, marketing, customer service, HR, finance, and procurement departments. In turn, you will gain a deep-dive insight into how your entire organization works cohesively to benefit your customers.
These are the main areas of the business that can benefit from a robust CRM KPI dashboard. While offering operational as well behavioral insight into a wealth of different customer-facing departments and functions, it’s also possible to split CRM analytics examples into operational, analytical, and strategic, depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your dashboard.
To put these ideas into perspective, let’s look at our three real-world CRM analytics examples:
CRM KPI Dashboard
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- Lead Response Time
- Follow-Up Contact Rate
- Sales Activity
- Average Contract Value
- Average Sales Cycle Length
Our first CRM dashboard example is armed with a perfect storm of KPIs - visual metrics designed to improve prospect lead times, follow-up response rates, sales cycle lengths, contract values, and core sales activities.
Presented in a balanced and logical format, sales reps and managers can make swift decisions to engage prospects across channels while developing strategies to boost conversions, drive down operational inefficiencies, and ultimately, boost revenue.
By adding this CRM dashboard template to the mix, you will optimize your sales, and, in turn, your customer service as well as marketing departments for ongoing growth, evolution, and success.
**click to enlarge**
- Sales Target & Growth
- Website-Traffic-to-Lead Ratio
- Cost per Lead
- Lead-to-MQL Ratio
- MQL-to-SQL Ratio
Our next CRM dashboard is a perfect use-case example for B2B SaaS businesses for which good CRM management is especially important. The CMO dashboard is equipped with a solid mix of high-level metrics suited for busy chief marketing officers looking to make a real impact.
A demanding role that requires an endless amount of organizational juggling, there is little time for CMOs to research and analyze low-level data and insights. Designed to streamline the decision-making process while facilitating innovative growth strategies, this cutting-edge CRM dashboard template will offer a healthy return on marketing investment (ROMI) while enhancing your customer-facing communications.
Moreover, with advanced KPIs including the cost per lead, per MQL, per SQL, and customer, all based on a target, you will be able to reduce unnecessary costs while providing the value of your various strategies and initiatives.
CRM Opportunity Dashboard
**click to enlarge**
- Number of Sales Opportunities
- Sales Opportunity Score
- Average Purchase Value
As you no doubt know, sales and customer service are intertwined. By improving your approach to sales and consumer marketing, you will strengthen your frontline service - and this CRM dashboard template will help you do just that.
Our CRM Opportunity dashboard is built to help your sales reps hone in on emerging leads and take the right course of action. KPIs including sales opportunity score, number of sales opportunities, and average purchase value work harmoniously to form a tapestry of visual information that not only helps prioritize sales opportunities but guides users towards the strategy or touchpoint they should focus on to close more sales.
By getting your timing, strategy, and communications just right, you will manage your customer relationships more effectively, which will lead to increased revenue and a better bottom line. This CRM report example will get you there.
Final Thoughts On CRM Reports
We’ve answered the question, “what is a CRM report?”, delved deeper into CRM report examples and CRM dashboard examples, and run through how to create your own customer-centric reports. One thing is clear: data-driven dashboard analytics is the path to consumer-driven success.
If you’re looking to streamline your customer-centric processes, deliver a razor-sharp service that meets your audiences’ exact needs, and become truly innovative, CRM reporting tools are the way forward - there’s no competition.
By focusing on your customers and delivering invaluable campaigns, communications, and services aimed at the direct needs of your audience, you will get an all-important edge on the competition. Additionally, if you want to drill down deeper into your sales data, read our definitive guide on salesforce reporting.
Now it's your turn to embrace the power of data-driven dashboards by taking advantage of our 14-day free trial, completely free.